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How Software-Defined Networks Can Help Push Digital Learning Forward

In days past, many may have never thought of IT departments becoming so prevalent in K-12 schools but today those departments are among one of the most important when it comes to managing tech in the classroom.

It’s becoming harder for IT departments to keep track of all of the security flaws and holes that need to be addressed, while finding the technology that is both reasonably priced and effective in helping students learn technical skills.

However, software-defined networks might bring the relief that IT professionals working in education need.

“Jeff Dietsche, systems and infrastructure manager for South Washington County Schools in Cottage Grove, Minn., says the district’s path to a software-defined network (SDN) stemmed from the need to secure the district’s growing use of mobile devices,” according to EdTechMagazine.

“Mobile device use jumped from about 1,000 in 2010 to more than 20,000 devices this year.”

Classrooms are only becoming more populated with mobile devices that require secure connections and ease of access for students to learn efficiently.

“There was really no way I could secure the network and keep up with the growth using the district’s existing infrastructure,” Dietsche said, according to the article.

“And buying a traditional intrusion detection/protection system would cost close to $2 million, so that was out of the question.”

That’s where the new SDN move took place thanks to negotiations with HP.

“For roughly under $200,000, the district deployed an HP SDN controller and installed HP’s Network Protector SDN software.”

SDN “improves security, increase the agility of services, allow IT departments to manage networks with ease, reduce costs” and fosters a better technological system for classrooms that allow students to get the best out of their technology.

“The reality is that we could not have supported mobility and techniques like the flipped classroom without SDN,” Dietsche said.

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor.


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